Today we welcomed the release by Maidstone Hospital of the recommendations made by the Royal College of Surgeons into the upper gastrointestinal laparascopic surgery thought to be responsible for five deaths in 2012-2013. However this goes only part of the way towards answering the questions of the families affected.
Thomson Snell & Passmore solicitors are representing John* the husband of a patient who died following a laparoscopic operation to remove her oesophagus tumour. John is 70 years old and had three adult children with Rosemary*, his late wife.
In 2012, Rosemary was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and received chemotherapy followed by a laparoscopic surgery at Maidstone Hospital. The prognosis before the operation was very good. However, following the surgical procedure, a hole was found in her colon. It was not clear whether the hole was unintentionally caused by the surgeon. A second operation became necessary to repair this hole. Unfortunately Rosemary deteriorated and was in the Intensive Care Unit for some time.
John described the day he was informed of her death by the hospital:
“One day, the hospital phoned me about 8 o’clock in the morning and told me that my wife had died due to bleeding overnight that could not be stopped. I was given no explanation as how it had occurred or where the bleeding was coming from. The hospital did not volunteer any information. I was devastated. Nobody bothered to explain to us why a hole was found after the initial surgery and where the bleeding was coming from.
I knew that the Royal College of Surgeons prepared a report regarding this type of surgery and the complications that Rosemary and other victims suffered. I asked my solicitors some time ago to request the report on my behalf, as I wanted to know what happened during and after the surgeries, and what recommendations were made by the Royal College of Surgeons. The hospital has finally released the recommendations, which is progress, but we still need to see the full report”.
Sharon Lam, solicitor with Thomson Snell & Passmore who is acting for John, said earlier:
“The hospital has repeatedly told the media that it would not release the full report to the public until after it has shared the report with the families of those who are affected. But the reality is that the hospital is not doing so. Some of our clients received letters from the hospital in early February clearly identifying them as those who were affected, and yet the hospital has only just released the recommendations made in the report. This is despite this firm making numerous requests under the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act since February.
Maidstone hospital’s refusal is no longer justified. We are disappointed that even at this stage, the hospital is not prepared to be open to the families whose lives were directly affected by their actions. The families deserve to know the full circumstances of their loved ones’ deaths.”
*Please note that names have been changed.
To find out the full story on this case please read from the choice of previous articles below.
Operation suspension continued
Operation suspension release report